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fond hope of many bright prospects and happy days : one, whose exemplary conduct, affectionate attachment, and assiduity in business, has left an irreparable void, which only a lapse of nine years can supply, in the person of his little brother, now only eight years old. You, as a father, can feel what anguish a parent must have felt, in having snatched from his arms such a treasure as I have lost; precipitated, in two short days, from blooming youth into the dreary confines of the grave. But as he was virtuous and good, he must be happy. It was Heaven's will, and I feel it my duty to submit.
May you and Mrs. Todd long enjoy uninterrupted happiness : but arm yourselves, at the same time, to bear, with pious feeling, those dispensations of Providence which the all-wise Ruler of events thinks fit to impose upon us.
I beg you will remember me kindly to good Mrs. Todd, and add also the regards of Mrs. Oakley.
With sincere wishes for your happiness,
To MRS. GEORGE OAKLEY, BOND STREET.
MY DEAR SISTER,
Tavistock Place, December 15, 1815. Amidst the sufferings of an agonized mind, convulsed with feelings too acute to be described, I have not forgotten that affectionate solicitude, attention, and amiable soothings, you so tenderly manifested to Mrs. Oakley, the children, and myself, in the moment of our severest affliction. We are, indeed, and ever shall be, impressed with sincere gratitude for your matchless feeling, your true and ever to be cherished love and mental sympathy. And here let me express my deepfelt regard to the best of brothers, for his identification of my sufferings in the gloomy gulf of woe, which Heaven has thought fit to plunge me in. His grief and honest distress — his tender arrangements of the last sad duties, will always be in my liveliest recollection.
My poor dear boy, gisted beyond his years — warm in attachment — vigorous in intellect - unceasingly solicitous to promote my interest and relieve my cares; how can I too fondly think of such worth! — how can I too emphatically express my regrets! Every hour, every minute, brings to my remembrance his dear, dear image. But he is gone! He is the precursor to that seat of bliss, where I hope we shall meet again, and where happiness is permanent and substantial.
A small token, which may occasionally awaken your sensibility of departed excellence, will, I hope, not be unacceptable to you. I shall consider it a fresh mark of your esteem, if you will do me the favour to wear it: also I have to request
of you to distribute poor Benjamin's little wardrobe where you think it deserving. If my nephew can be divested of pride, he may wear them; and tell him, he who once wore them had no pride, but that of obedience to those whose interests it was his duty and his delight to attend to.
May you and my brother long, very long, enjoy the sweet society of your dear girls; and may your chain of comfort long, very long, remain unbroken!
Your affectionate Friend and Brother,
To MR. RICHARD OAKLEY, WEOBLY.
MY DEAR FATHER,
Tavistock Place, December 28, 1815. The shock occasioned by the dreadfully severe calamity which has visited me, in the death of my ever to be lamented dear boy, you can more easily conceive than the father of such a boy can attempt to describe.
In Benjamin were centred my best hopes of earthly comfort in him were also centred the treasure of friendship from friend to friend — in him my prospects of relaxation rested -- and to him I looked as the protector of his mother, his sisters, and his infant brother. Such a friend, so deservedly esteemed, so deservedly possessing the confidence of all who knew him--so rich in intellect --- so warm in affection and attachment - so animated in conversation -- and so abundantly gifted to ornament his family, and promote their interests! Such-such a son! O! the irretrievable loss! It is such a shock - such a blank, which the veil of nature and of time can alone obliterate from feelings such as mine! Alas! youth and age must bend to the unsearchable ways and decrees of the Divine Power! It is not for us to question, but to submit.
Slowly recovering from domestic woe, another grief has arisen which has plunged us into further distress, and again rips up the wound yet scarcely healed. Within this hour the melancholy intelligence has reached me of the dangerous illness of poor Captain Butcher. Deprived of him, as there is much reason to fear, I shall lose a friend, the most worthy, the most sincere, and the best hearted companion of my early life ; one whose
loss cannot (except to an affectionate sister) be more severely regretted than by myself. I shall leave town to-morrow for Winchester, where he is with his regiment; but, from the account transmitted to me, I fear I shall not see him alive.
Your little present came to us yesterday; for which we thank you. This usually festive season will be to me a melancholy one. I cannot say more
only to wish you every earthly comfort that can be open to you.
I could not answer your kind condoling letter at the time I received it; but now beg you to accept my best thanks for it; and to believe me
Your true, but afflicted Son,
The following respectful Announcement was inserted by Mr. Perry
in the MORNING CHRONICLE of November 22, 1815.
DIED, yesterday morning, at the house of his father, in Tavistock Place, Mr. Benjamin Oakley, eldest son of Benjamin Oakley, Esq. This most promising youth was carried off by an inflammation in the bowels, in the eighteenth year of his age. His attainments, gentleness of temper, ability, and diligence, procured him the esteem of all who knew him; and they make his sudden and early death an irreparable loss to his inconsolable parents, sisters, and friends.
The following friendly Remembrance to departed Worth, written by
Mr. Britton, appeared in the Supplement to Volume LXXXV. of the Gentleman's MAGAZINE.
November 21, aged 17, of an inflammation in his bowels, Benjamin Oakley, jun. son of Benjamin Oakley, stock broker, of Tavistock Place, London. After receiving a liberal education
at the Charter House, he was taken by his father into business ; and on all occasions was distinguished by quickness of intellect, strict punctuality, acuteness of thought, and strength of memory. These qualities naturally endeared him to an affectionate father, to whom he had become, although in years a child, the coulfidential friend and associate. Thus, in the hours of business he was a most useful assistant to his parents, and in the evening of relaxation was a rational and intelligent companion. He eagerly sought the company and conversation of men of science and intellect, who were frequently seen around his father's hospitable board. Had such a youth been spared, he would have proved an invaluable blessing to his now afflicted family, and a distinguished ornament to society.
To BENJAMIN OAKLEY, Esq. TAVISTOCK Place.
Winchester, December 28, 1815. Although from my letter to you
of yesterday's date, you might have some reason to expect it, yet I did not think I should have so soon to announce the death of Captain Butcher : he died at two o'clock this morning. He got gradually better in the course of yesterday, and about one this morning sent for me. I immediately went to him, but found him quite insensible; and I was present when he went off at the above time. I have given the necessary directions respecting his funeral. You will most probably be down here as soon after the receipt of this letter as you can, as you must be aware, from his state, he cannot remain long unburied. Should you, however, be prevented coming down, I will take care that every thing shall be arranged as respectably and economically as possible. I have taken charge of all his papers, &c. and have informed Government